With every class I have taught, it’s been my experience that there is a certain point where the students are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated and everyone’s stress level peaks. In this course, ED366, today was that day for me. It is interesting that today is our fourth day and, if I remember right, about a month (or four weeks) into the program that I teach is when this happens as well. Is there something evil about the number 4??
I left class today with that awful, sinking feeling that I get when I am overwhelmed and don’t know which task to tackle first. I don’t function well when I am at that point. Too many things swirling through my mind. Feeling overwhelmed is closely linked to feeling like you have no control over what is going on in your life. So it did help that today was the day that Dave introduced contract grading and we were all allowed input regarding our grading scheme as well as the types and numbers of assignments in the course. It gave us back a bit of control. However, by the end of class, it all seemed so chaotic and unclear, that I sensed that I wasn’t the only one experiencing some frustration!
This is my first experience with the term “contract grading” but I have always allowed my students as much input as I am free to give. I have no problem with negotiating due dates for instance. But, when you open this stuff up for negotiation, you have to be prepared for differing opinions, arguments and people getting angry and upset. You really can’t please everyone. There have been times when the students just wanted me to make the decision instead of going through the whole process of trying to make everyone happy.
So, here is my 4th blog. One thing finished on Frustration Day! Guess I am not doing too badly after all. And now I am going for a walk!!